I was a 25F and just got out in April. We were told we were being phased out for the whole time I was in (4 years) but only a few got mandatory reclassed. I was in a signal unit for a year and an Air Defense Artillery unit for 2 and a half years. There are still a decent amount of 25F in ADA units and the equipment we worked with there was ADA equipment and we were not trained on that stuff at AIT. It is easy to learn and there are 25F slots in ADA units. If you want to work with newer technology in signal, go 25B or 25N...just my 2 cents.
I was at Fort Bliss for 2 years and S. Korea for 1 year (my unit from Bliss did a year long deployment to South Korea). When I was in the signal unit, I was in the ELM shop and actually fixed the signal equipment when it broke. So basically, the other platoons would be the ones actually working on the equipment they were trained on in AIT, and when the stuff broke, they would sign it over to our ELM shop and we would fix it. I received no training on fixing the equipment in AIT, but I had some great NCOs and soldiers in the ELM shop and really enjoyed the work. Then I got moved to an ADA BN. I was assigned to commo platoon in HHB.
The ADA signal equipment was similar to the equipment we had at the signal company, but it was stuff I had never seen before. The day to day stuff we did was equipment maintenance and getting certified on that equipment. Basically, every battery in the BN had to be certified on the equipment they were assigned. In theater, all the units have to work together and need to know their role so that the mission can be carried out. Not sure how much I can go into on this discussion board, so I will just leave it at that.
In ADA units, 25Fs can pretty much be assigned to any unit within the BN (HHB or any line battery). There are slots in each unit for 25F. Both ADA units I was in, I was fortunate enough to be assigned to the commo platoon in HHB. I knew other 25Fs that were assigned to line batteries and it seemed like they had much more work to do on a day to day basis. But regardless of MOS, it all comes down to what that unit needs. I knew 25Fs who were in their units orderly room, the unit's armor, BN S6, or worked as the BN CDRs driver. Just because you are trained as a 25F doesn't necessarily mean you will be in a 25F slot.
Mods: I am pretty sure I stayed within the guidelines of what I can actually post (no current unit info or where they are or specifically where my units went). If I posted something that is a no-go, please delete and accept my apologies. Just trying to give this guy an idea of what to expect as a 25F....Thanks
Thanks again PS25F! You've been a big help for me to understand what the next 4 years may entail. I have a few more questions if you don't mind answering:
25B/25N deal with more modern tech? Can I switch to one of those MOSs after a certain amount of time as a 25F? I'm betting it depends on if there's any slots available, reenlistment incentives and whatnot...
Can 25Fs be in an airborne unit? 82nd, 173rd, ect ect?
25B is the MOS that deals most with true networking. The bravos in our S6 shop were responsible for the security of the network: making sure the correct access level was given to the proper users (officers, CSMs, other higher ups usually having more access), registering all new users on the network, making sure all users have required yearly trainings. The bravos worked with routers (I am not too router savvy so not sure of those details). There are slots for 25B at every unit because BN, BDE and higher S6 needs bravos.
25N deals with JNN (Joint Node Network) equipment which is basically the Army's upgrade of the old MSE equipment (what I worked on/with when I was at my signal unit). Novembers are slotted at signal units but I am not sure where else (I knew some soldiers/NCOs that reclassed but never had any in the units I was in).
25F is pretty much a network switchboard operator. The best way I can describe it is to think of the switch operators on old telephone systems, where the switchboard operator had to physically make the patch (plugging in wires) in order for the 2 parties to communicate with each other. Of course it's not that simple (voice and data is what Foxes are responsible for) and my description makes it sound not so glamorous. It's a pretty interesting MOS so don't let my description scare you away from being a 25F. From what I understand, Foxes are only slotted at signal units and ADA (Air Defense Artillery) units. That may not be the case, but those are the only units I know of any Foxes being slotted at. I know of a few ADA units that are airborne units, but as for as 82nd, etc, I just don't know.
You could definitely try to reenlist to switch from one MOS to another, but you might be waiting for a school date for awhile even after you sign the papers to reenlist. There was one guy who was with me in my first 2 units who had to wait over 2 years after his reenlistment before he got to AIT to start his school date (unit got deployed and mission comes first). He was a 25F and reenlisted for a 25B school date. A soldier who was in my last unit, also reenlisted for 25B (he was a 25C). Two days before I left, his school date got pushed back for a 3rd time. He finally ended up reporting for AIT right at 9 months after his original school date (a full 15 months after he signed his reenlistment papers).
But that is just part of Army life. Could happen to anyone with any MOS. 25B is a pretty "hot" signal MOS so the classes are filling up pretty quickly, hence the longer wait times for both initial recruits and those reclassing.
Hope I was able to help. If you have any other questions, just ask and I will be as honest as I can. All my input in this thread is based solely on my limited experience and knowledge, so if anyone else has different/more up to date info for JBalla, please feel free to add!
703 views? Any other future 25F's out there? Speak up!
I have a few more questions if you don't mind PS25F:
1. Are you aware of any 25Fs that have been stationed in Afghanistan or Iraq? I understand deployments are based on the needs of the Army, nothing is certain, it's part of Army life, and what/who is needed, but do you know of any 25Fs who did 25F work in Afghan/Iraq?
2. What was AIT like? Was it heavy on electronic theory, computers, board-level troubleshooting? (I do electronics for work ATM)
3. Is it possible to request Airborne/Air Assault schools while as a 25F? I'm assuming this depends if theres any slots available for a class, recommendations, performance reviews, and such?
Thanks again in advance PS25F. I'm sure I'll have more questions to follow!
I am a prior service Marine and just enlisted into the Army. I am slated to go to AIT in a few months for 25F training and I would like to know how they treat prior service guys in AIT. Do they allow POVs and seperate barracks or anything else? I am married and have a son, it would be nice to have some private time with my family on the weekends as I know we have those off.
How hard is it to be promoted in AIT? The reason I left the Corps was because my MOS was being closed out and due to high cutting scores I couldn't get promoted to E4. I was told that SPC promotion is based off of time in grade and time in service, if that is true I should have that portion covered.
When I was at Ft Gordon for 25F AIT (in 2006), the prior service troops in my actual 25F class seemed to get treated just fine. They were allowed to have POVs, had seperate barracks from new troops, and seemed to have plenty of free time on the weekends. I am not sure about the rules they had on family in the barracks (not sure if that was what you were getting at), but usually no family in the barracks. Keep in mind all my info is form 4 years ago, so all this may have changed by now....
As far as the promotion, your TIG/TIS for the Army will go off of what is on your ERB. Try to get a copy of and see what it says...
you shouldn't have a problem getting a room at Army Lodging on the weekends to spend some time with your family. Once you are done with class on Friday, as long as you aren't on the duty roster for the weekend, you should have off until Monday morning PT.
I am not sure about mandatory waiting time to get promoted in AIT. I want to say because you are non-Army prior service, you have to be MOS qualified before you can get promoted to E4. I think I have heard that before, but I am not 100% about it.
To answer your last few questions:
1) Yes, you will eventually be deployed to Iraq/Afghanastan. It really depends on your unit, and your units rotation schedule.
2) When I went through AIT they were still teaching Mobile Subscriber Equipment. It had some basic electronic theory, but a majority of AIT was all signal. How signals are converted, packaged, transmitted with a short annex on encryption. The rest of AIT, from what I remember, was all troubleshooting... the job was actually pretty terrible.
3) I went to Airborne School as a 25F, but I was attached to 10th Special Forces group so I had access to those slots. I know that when I was going through AIT about half of my class was going to Airborne School afterwards. So I would assume that it is not that uncommon; however, if you didn't get Airborne in your contract and get sent to a leg unit it will be difficult for you to go get slotted for those schools.
schw- not necessarily on getting deployed to Iraq/Afghanistan. I did 4 years as a 25F and only my only overseas assignment was a year-long unit deployment to Korea. I know it is highly likely that someone will not get deployed, but it all depends on what kind of unit you are in. I did a year in a signal company that was standing down, and three years in 2 different ADA units. I volunteered for a Qatar deployment with another ADA unit but my name was taken off the list a few days before I was set to get orders. There are a decent amount of 25Fs in ADA units and those units don't get too many deployments to Iraq/Afghanistan. For the most part, the ADA units get deployed to other locations in the Middle East. Like I said, it is unlikely to happen, but ADA units hold on to their 25Fs very tightly, so a 25F fresh out of AIT that gets assigned to Bliss/Sill to an ADA unit has a decent chance of not going to Iraq/Afghanistan for his/her initial enlistment...
To be completely honest, once I got to Group I never touched another peice of 25F equipment. I'm not saying that we didn't have it, we just never utilized it. I worked out of a Forward Communications Section, so I was almost always deployed. Thankfully, after AIT I was a bit disallusioned with the MOS.
I did read your post on the ADA, and I am not surprised that the 25F's ended up there. I was hearing rumors of the MOS being phased out back in 2001 when I went to AIT. I suppose that as long as they are able to adapt, they may still be around for a while. I know the rotations that you are speaking of, one of my buddies is in the 13 series.
I just did not want him to think that he would never be deployed. I did state that it really depends on his unit.